Smoking and lung cancer-induced changes in N-glycosylation of blood serum proteins. Academic Article uri icon


  • Glycosylation is a key post-translational protein modification which appears important in malignant transformation and tumor metastasis. Abnormal glycosylation of different proteins can often be measured in the blood serum. In this study, we extend our serum-based structural investigations to samples provided by patients diagnosed with lung cancer, paying particular attention to the effects of smoking on the serum glycomic traces. Following a battery of glycomic tests, we find that several fucosylated tetra-antennary structures with varying degrees of sialylation are increased in their abundances in control samples provided by the former smokers, with further elevations in the lung cancer patients who were former smokers. Further detailed investigations demonstrated that the level of outer-arm fucosylation was elevated in the control samples of the former smokers and again in the lung cancer samples provided by the former smokers. This trend was particularly noticeable for the tri- and tetra-antennary structures. Different ratios of sialylation linkages were also observed that could be correlated with the different states of health and smoking status. Decreases in the abundance levels of isomers with two and three 2,3-linked sialic acids and an increased abundance of an isomer with two 2,6-linked sialic acids were noted for a fucosylated tri-sialylated tri-antennary glycan. These results demonstrate the long-term effects of smoking on glycomic profiles and that this factor needs to be considered in these and other serum-based analyses.

published proceedings

  • Glycobiology

author list (cited authors)

  • Vasseur, J. A., Goetz, J. A., Alley, W. R., & Novotny, M. V.

citation count

  • 68

complete list of authors

  • Vasseur, Jacqueline A||Goetz, John A||Alley, William R||Novotny, Milos V

publication date

  • January 2012